nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

back to article
'Privacy is a human right': Big cheese Sat-Nad lays out Microsoft's stall at Future Decoded

ratfox Silver badge
Devil

"Privacy is a human right"

Hmmm... I anticipate this can and will be used against Microsoft.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

I think we'll believe it when telemetry's completely turned off and all the telemetry data destroyed. Until then it's just sounds he made when he opened his mouth.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

"Privacy is a human right"

... which we aim to avoid enthusiastically.

I heard this weird rumour about a company assisting the Trump administration with a new US law, Cloud Act 2018..

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

the epitome of Irony, when Micro-shaft (inventors of Win-10-nic) says that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony

"what appears, on the surface, to be the case, differs radically from what is actually the case. "

the robot devil would be proud!

Giovani Tapini
Unhappy

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

Is it? So why is everything from my win10 platform up through the stack into Skype, linked in etc sucking my data for obscure use cases.

The internet couldn't work if everything was genuinely anonymous. The digital equivalent of a blank phone book.

This has actually made me a bit cross rather than the usual resigned forehead slapping usually associated with M$

John G Imrie Silver badge

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

Who said you where humans.

N2 Silver badge

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

But we have terms and conditions...

Potemkine! Silver badge

Re: "Privacy is a human right"

The implicit part of the sentence was "and we don't give a fuck about human rights".

Without mentioning China, see for instance Windows 10 telemetry.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"building out Azure as the world's computer".

So we have Azure, Google, AWS, who will be the last 2 "computers"?

JohnFen Silver badge

Man, that's hilarious!

"Nadella, on the other hand, was more forthright, seeing the recently introduced GDPR as a good first step before declaring: "Privacy is a human right.""

HAHAHAHA!

Microsoft pretending that it values user privacy is hilarious.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

... it DOES value privacy, it's got a very high value indeed...

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

Microsoft pretending that it values user privacy is hilarious.

But it does now. If you think about it for a few minutes you'll figure out why.

Facebook gets practically all of it's revenue from advertising, and mining information from the user.

Google gets practically all of it's revenue from advertising, and mining information from the user.

Microsoft gets practically all of it's revenue from product licensing. They failed in search, they failed with mobile phones, and they failed in basically everything but their existing products.

Hence, Microsoft has nothing whatsoever to lose from implementing really stringent privacy laws such as GDPR, but it would disproportionately hurt their competitors. Hence, Microsoft now cares really deeply about your privacy. But probably not quite so much that they'll stop tracking which websites you visit so they can improve Bing's search, or stop tracking everything that you do on your computer until a law stopping them for doing it comes in.

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

"But it does now."

No, it does not. Enforced telemetry is all the proof you need of that.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

Yes, but I think your missing my point.

Microsoft cares about hurting it's competitors by supporting laws that hurt them disproportionately more than it disadvantages them.

Mark 85 Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

They say they value privacy and yet Win10 pumps ads. If they weren't using out data, then the ads should be "random" and not targeted. Are they "random"? Do we trust M$ enough to believe them?

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

That's not caring about user privacy, that's caring about harming your competition.

AntiSol

Mixed Signals

"Privacy is a human right"

Oh good! So you'll be removing the data-slurping from windows then?

J J Carter Silver badge
Facepalm

Why is it regarded as funny to perpetually misspell his name? Surely not because he's a funny little Indian, yes please?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

optional

I don't care if he's a funny little Indian, sad-faced Romani-Gypsy, or horizontally-expansive Anglo-Saxon, he's a (...) and this particular trait crosses borders, races and phobias, personal and otherwise.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Why is it regarded as funny to perpetually misspell his name? Surely not because he's a funny little Indian, yes please?

You mean Sat-Nad? It's not a misspelling; it's an abbreviation.

Also, J-Lo, JLaw, ScarJo, LiLo, and others who are household name-y enough to receive this kind of abbreviation aren't funny little Indians.

Giovani Tapini

He may be Indian (CBA to check his background) but he is certainly not funny...

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"Microsoft Defending Democracy" is about as viable as the fox guarding the hen-coop

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

re. efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy

politicians will keep lying, exces will keep farting. Both types in public, what's new? :(

nah, wait, he DOES have a point, I mean, the efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy must be acknowledged. Arguably, they don't yet match the efforts in the same field by Google and Facebook, and Amazon but hey, MS are trying REAL HARD.

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: re. efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy

"the efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy must be acknowledged."

True. I acknowledge that Microsoft (just like Google, Facebook, etc.) are engaging in a lot of effort to make sure that you have no privacy with them, specifically.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: re. efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy

Microsoft (just like Google, Facebook, etc.) are engaging in a lot of effort to make sure that you have no privacy with them, specifically

Not just them specifically. To "monetise" our data, it is about selling it to anybody and everybody, as often as they can.

hoola

Re: re. efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy

Nah, just THEIR privacy, a complete wall of fog when you try and find out anything from any big tech company. They are all as bad but those with cloudy offerings just hide behind bull and marketing speak after every cock up that was supposed to have no impact.

The upside (for them) is that people still dive headlong down the cloud route, throwing money at them from all sides.

Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

ROFL!

Taking a page from Apple's playbook, Nadella was keen to highlight the efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy.

Words are cheap SATNAD. Now get rid of ALL that data slurp in Windows and let independent auditors examine it so that we can believe your words.

Dan 55 Silver badge

Hypocrite

That is all...

Ledswinger Silver badge

Re: Hypocrite

You do have to wonder. Does this bloke have not a jot of insight? Did it not occur to him, or his army of arse licking minions, PR dweebs and speech writers that promoting Slurp's defence of privacy might not back fire?

Maybe the joke's on us. Maybe Merkins do in fact understand irony, and here it was being deployed at a very impressive 0.9 Croft&Perry*

* the Croft&Perry is the SI unit of irony. A bit like the Coulomb, the base SI measure is normally far too large for practical use, so all credit to Nadella for hitting a 0.9 C&P

Credas Silver badge

Eco credentials?

Even the watery Natick data centre got a nod from Nadella in an effort to bolster the company's eco-credentials by using the ocean as a giant heat sink.

Pray do tell us, Nadella, how dumping heat into the ocean is ecologically better than dumping it into the atmosphere. Unless you're beaming it into outer space it's kinda the one environment, isn't it?

Ledswinger Silver badge

Re: Eco credentials?

C'mon, man. You know enough to realise that active air cooled systems are invariably far more energy intensive than a semi-passive water cooled system? IIRC two thirds of a data centre's energy use is cooling to dump the waste heat from its processors to the atmosphere.

You're right that Slurp's position is wanky eco-posturing. And you'd probably be right that it was more expensive and only done for PR reasons. But the problem is that DCs as they now exist are the modern day coal fired power stations.

onefang

Re: Eco credentials?

A recent report I read said that there's been more heat held in the oceans than previously suspected. Wish I could recall the details, like where that was. El Reg? Aussie ABC news site? Maybe somewhere else?

So dumping excess heat into the ocean vs the air may or may not be a good idea.

Microsoft dumping the slurp is a great idea though, they should do so, then we might stop laughing at them. Well, not so much laughter at least.

Perhaps they can compromise? Stop slurping, stick all the stuff they have slurped so far into one of those underwater data centers, and toss the thing into the deepest part of the ocean, never to be seen or heard from again.

Spazturtle Silver badge

Re: Eco credentials?

"So dumping excess heat into the ocean vs the air may or may not be a good idea."

It doesn't really matter were you dump it, as the heat will dissipate, what matters more is how much heat you generate. Active cooling produces heat itself, so not only do you have the heat that your servers produce but you also have the heat that your cooling produces. Running your AC is worse for the environment then opening your window to let cool air in.

JohnFen Silver badge

Re: Eco credentials?

"It doesn't really matter were you dump it, as the heat will dissipate"

It does matter, really. If the atmosphere is heated, that heat is dissipated through radiating into space more quickly than if the oceans are heated by the same amount. Water is really good at absorbing and retaining heat, and the oceans have no direct interface to space.

"what matters more is how much heat you generate"

I agree, this does matter more.

Mark 85 Silver badge

Re: Eco credentials?

If they dumped the slurpage, storage, and processing of all the data they collect, they could probably shut down a few data centers. Turning off the power would solve the heat dissipation problem and also save some energy generation pollution and the heat being generated by the power plants.

Simon B-52

It's comedy folks, just relax

For heaven's sake, you're not meant to take this stuff seriously!

It's comedy people - you know, hollowly, with a dull ache creeping through your guts....

Actually it's not funny at all really, is it?

Oh F*ck!

Milton Silver badge

Cognitive confusion

Like every scrap of technology since the wheel, through metal working and chemistry, to nuclear fission to so-called "AI", these things have the power to be used for good or to be twisted into use to exploit, enslave and even kill.

The problem, of course, is that for all Satnad's predictable guff and the fatuous babblings of marketurds, neither Microsoft's nor any other internet giants' business models allow for genuinely positive, healthy use of these technologies. The virtuous words are just camouflage. Against the malign influence of bean-counters, spreadsheets and shareholders, the dollar is first, last and always. People who love money can care about nothing else.

Even the laughably monickered "Don't Be Evil" transitioned in a virtual eye-blink into an all-consuming exploiter. Once the avaricious and simplistic amorality of corporate management sets in, a company' soul, if it ever had one, is gone. It becomes no more than a machine (sometimes a very cleverly designed one) for wringing out a multitude of human beings so that a small minority can reap vast wealth.

While it can be entertaining to hear the frequently ludicruous self-delusion practised, and spoken, by the likes of Satnad—who has to find some way of seeing his own face in the mirror when he shaves, I guess—these are people who are of the same stripe we see in politics: rationalising greed and self-interest to the point where they may even convince thmselves that they are noble defenders of freedom and the public good. They are not, of course: they are fundamentally just liars ... ofttimes good enough even to fool themselves. Once you have power, you can believe that you're entitled to more leeway and excuses than those who don't: the truth is the exact opposite of course, but the kind of people who seek power in the first place have precisely the wrong character to exercise it.

You don't need to get up in the morning and say "I am bad person and I'm going to harm a lot of people today" in order to achieve wicked things and make the world a worse place. You just need to be greedy, selfish and studiously, unreflectively dishonest with yourself. That's all it takes, whether you're as smart as a Satnad ... or as dumb as a Trump.

"Adaptive algorithm machine learning systems"—

—or better still—

"Huge and massively powerful computing systems using vast storage, memory and CPU cores, capable of performing in carefully selected, confined and delimited strict rules-based environments to sometimes equal the performance of 25 oz of blue sludge found in a human skull, and otherwise displaying less genuine adaptability and behavioural intelligence than a field mouse."

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure wheeling Esther 'McVile' will have had much positive influence. Shows a startling misstep of their understanding of UK politics. I've rarely known a more hated politician justified or not..

Tigra 07 Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

"Nadella was keen to highlight the efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy"

That's good. Open with a joke!

Surely the only effort Microsoft has made in this area is by eroding and invading people's privacy.

Walter Bishop Silver badge
Big Brother

Microsoft efforts in privacy

“Taking a page from Apple's playbook, Nadella was keen to highlight the efforts made by the Microsoft in privacy.”

Microsoft regularly shared data of India bank customers with US intelligence agencies, claims report

Dan 55 Silver badge

Re: Microsoft efforts in privacy

That bodes well for the SWIFT-on-Azure move.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

One day into the future of a parallel universe board members of corporations have to wear a collar similar to the Star Trek "Collar of Obedience" (The Gamesters of Triskelion) but instead of zapping you for disobedience it zaps you for lying.

Ah, what if.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"...ethical behaviour extends beyond the AI sphere..."

No s**t, Sherlock.

....and I suppose Microsoft never takes a penny, nor does any pro bono work for "ethical" organisations like the NSA, or GCHQ in the UK.

The hypocrisy about "privacy" here is breathtaking! Give it a rest and just admit that "ethics" is something other people do!!!!!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

All I want for Christmas

is for Patrick Stewart to categorically state that he will not play Nadella in his biopic.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I am beginning to like SatNad - he introduced SSH support into Windoze and now he is making the right sort of noises about privacy.

To M$'s credit, they have fought American courts about the raiding of data held by Irish assets. So I think we can conclude that he is genuine in his sentiments about privacy.

Yes - Windows still suck as an operating system and there are still lots of things nasty about the corporation, but I am happy to find allies where I find them.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I read the article title and thought it was the opener for SadNads retirement speach

imagine my disappointment

Also nice to see M$ still redefining existing words such that "ethics" has joined the M$ antonym list

that word you keep using, it doesn't mean what you think it means

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIP6EwqMEoE

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing